When it comes to water pipes there are a plethora of options.Often, walking into a head shop or glass store can be a hectic experience. You get shown so many pieces you forget what you were originally there to purchase and are then left facing the difficult question: which one is the perfect piece for me?
With there being so much variety in shape, size, brand, and appearance it can be rather difficult to compare and choose one piece, especially if you are new to purchasing and using glass.
Anatomy of the Different Bong Parts
The anatomy of a standard bong can be broken down into five basic parts:
The bowl is the bulbous attachment where dried cannabis flower is loaded and combusted. It’s often removable, allowing it to function as pull- or slide-carburetor.
The carb, short for carburetor, is a small hole that allows the user to clear smoke from the entire chamber of the bong, completing the bong toke. The most common type of carb found on glass bongs is a pull- or slide-carb, which is exposed when the bowl is removed.
The downstem is the small tube that allows the smoke to travel from the bowl down to the base, where it then percolates through water.
The base is the bottom of a bong and can take many shapes, depending on style. A bubble- or beaker-shaped base is often used to create the water chamber in which the smoke cools as it passes through the water.
The tube, which ends in the mouthpiece, is the chamber that fills with smoke after it has filtered through the water. Other features, such as an ice pinch, are often included in the tube design.
HeightYep, it's a basic concept, for sure, but it can make a difference. The larger your water pipe, the more smoke it can hold, which can lead to some truly monster hits.
Mouthpiece StyleDoes it make a difference what kind of mouthpiece a water pipe has in terms of usability? Not incredibly so. But some people just like different things. So you probably should determine which kind of mouthpiece you like, one with a thick mouthpiece (and neck), or a thinner mouthpiece.
One of the bonuses of a thick mouthpiece and water pipe neck is that you can add some nice extras, like an ice pinch, as an example. This 14" water pipe has just that, and has your classic straight neck.
People love the thick neck because it's just so damn ol' skool. It's a classic design that anyone can get behind.
Your Choices: 10, 14 and 18mm
For some people, joint size may not mean a lot. You may be just a casual glass buyer looking for a pipe, and you'll probably never buy another. Not so fast: remember that 14mm and 18mm are basically industry standards when it comes to waterpipes. 10mm, less so.
This is important when you're talking about glass, because yes, it does break. Even the monstrously thick glass water pipes from Thick Ass Glass are not indestructible. So you can imagine just how breakable the smaller, detachable pipe accessories are.
Our percolation page is here. This is something many people don't even consider when buying a water pipe, but oh how it changes the experience. Let's not repeat the whole article, but sum up the key points. An important point you should remember is that percolators with massive diffusion can create "drag", or basically make it harder to suck the smoke from the pipe. Drag is not a major concern with most TAG pipes, but it can make a difference. So here are our fave percs:
The Fritted Disc
Easily the MASTER perc in our opinion, this perc consists of thousands of shards of glass to create pathways for the smoke to go through. More pathways equal more diffusion. Just a genius pick, but may feature drag.